Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Trail Blazers COO SARAH MENSAH yesterday resigned after 19 years with the team. Mensah departs at the end of November and leaves her job after CHRIS MCGOWAN was named President & CEO last month (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal). In Portland, Joe Freeman noted Mensah was "one of the longest tenured Blazers executives and one of the highest ranking women in professional sports." When President LARRY MILLER "surprisingly resigned in July after a five-year reign, Mensah lobbied hard to replace her one-time mentor and she was thought to be a leading contender for the job." When Mensah "didn't get the job, she was forced to reassess her position and ponder what more she had to offer the Blazers." Mensah said, "I've almost been with the organization for 20 years and I've worked at every level. The next opportunity for me was the president job. It's not a secret that I was interested in it. When that didn't materialize, you have to keep growing, you have to keep learning. When you're not in a position to do that, you have to get in a position where you have the chance to do that." Freeman wrote Mensah "has been a rare constant and steady force in an organization that has endured countless rocky moments over the years." SportsBusiness Journal also named Mensah to its inaugural "Game Changers: Women in Sports Business" list in '11. Mensah said that she is "unsure what her next professional move will be." But after she takes some time off for "evaluation," Mensah would "like to return to professional sports, perhaps even the NBA" (, 11/28).

PepsiCo named BRETT O'BRIEN Senior VP & GM of Gatorade. He will oversee the brand throughout North America. O'Brien, who previously served as VP/Marketing for Mountain Dew, Flavors and Amp Energy, fills the opening left by SARAH ROBB O'HAGAN (, 11/28)....Dentsu Sports Asia named JOSH BURACK Senior VP & Head of TV, Media & Sponsorship. Burack will begin the new role in mid-December (DSA)....The Nuggets promoted PETE D'ALESSANDRO to VP/Basketball Operations and MIKE BRATZ to Dir of Player Personnel (Nuggets)....Social media startup LockerDome named Advantage Capital Partners Principal MARK LEWIS CFO (THE DAILY)....Gold's Gym named Inspirus President MICHAEL COBB CMO (Gold's Gym)....Centerplate named ROY ARNOLD to the newly-created position of Chief Talent Officer (Centerplate)....Harvard Athletics named IMRY HALEVI Dir of Multimedia & Production (Harvard)....Massachusetts Maritime Academy named PATRICIA O'BRIEN Assistant AD (CAPE COD TIMES, 11/27).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

In N.Y., Keith Kelly reported former SI Group Editor TERRY MCDONELL, who “handed off his Sports Illustrated duties in October with the idea of becoming an adviser to Time Inc. on digital projects," will "exit altogether at year’s end.” The departure comes as “rumblings of a new round of deep cuts grow louder.” McDonell said that he is “going to hang out his own shingle as McDonell Co., offering up his expertise to outside firms working on joint ventures across multiple platforms, including publishing, video and film.” McDonell added that he “will work closely with the Wonder Factory, which helped design the first Sports Illustrated tablet app,” and that he “plans to create publishing, video and film joint ventures across multiple platforms” (N.Y. POST, 11/28).

EYE OF THE HURRICANE: The attorney for Tulsa AD ROSS PARMLEY, who was suspended by the school due to gambling allegations, said that Parmley “did not bet on any TU games.” Attorney DEREK CHANCE added that Parmley “will cooperate with an NCAA investigation of the allegations.” Parmley is “not facing any criminal charge but sports wagering is a violation of NCAA rules” (OKLAHOMAN, 11/29).

EASY DOES IT: MIKE MOYE, the agent for MLB free agent OF JOSH HAMILTON, will “do the legwork for this winter’s most prominent commodity out of the limelight.” Moye and partners SCOTT SANDERSON and BILL ROSE have “developed a niche in baseball circles for their emphasis on family and their appeal to players with strong faiths.” But Moye said that the “perception that his firm caters exclusively to Christian athletes is inaccurate.” Rockies 1B TODD HELTON said of Moye, “You end up right where you want to be as his client. Mike has a way about him where he doesn’t ruffle a lot of feathers along the way" (, 11/28).

ANALYZE THIS: In N.Y., Mary Pilon notes fans ejected from NFL games are “strongly encouraged to complete a four-hour online course in anger management before they are allowed to return to see a game.” The NFL also “directs fans to a particular doctor to tackle their issues: ARI NOVICK of Laguna Beach, Calif.” The league “recommends Novick’s online course and has lauded its results.” However, officials with the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy said that an examination of Novick’s practice “shows that his claims about his professional credentials ... are either false or out of date.” In addition, part of Novick’s “online operation offers a monetary commission to companies and individuals for referring clients to his anger management courses, a practice that may violate the ethics codes and regulations of the psychological association and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, which governs licensed marriage and family therapists in the state” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/29).

(l to r) Martin, Wittenberg, Petitti and Sean
McManus at March of Dimes Sports Luncheon

AWARDS & RECOGNITION: Yesterday's 29th annual March of Dimes Sports Luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria in N.Y. raised a record $850,000. Honorees included N.Y. Road Runners CEO MARY WITTENBERG with a Sports Leadership Award; MLB Network President & CEO TONY PETITTI received an award for corporate leadership; while beach volleyballers KERRI WALSH JENNINGS and MISTY MAY-TREANOR, each of whom has three Olympic Gold Medals, shared Sportswoman of the Year honors. Pro Football HOFer CURTIS MARTIN was honored as Sportsman of the Year (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

NAMES: Penn State Univ. yesterday said that a “sizable portion of a severance and salary package" worth nearly $3.3M that former school President GRAHAM SPANIER is receiving “will be deferred until 2017” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/29)….U.S. troops “shuttered a forward operating base in eastern Afghanistan named in honor of slain Army Ranger” and former NFLer PAT TILLMAN. The closure “marks the beginning of the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan” (, 11/28)….Baseball HOFer JIM PALMER will “receive the Player Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation at its 10th annual ‘In The Spirit of the Game’ gala Jan. 12” in L.A. (, 11/28)….The charity hockey game Operation Hat Trick played last week in Atlantic City “raised at least $500,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief, with more to come from a jersey auction” (, 11/28)…. Federal authorities yesterday said that former MLBer DOUG DECINCES and three others were indicted on “insider trading charges for allegedly using non-public information to buy stock in a Santa Ana medical device company” (, 11/28)….MLS FC Dallas CEO DOUG QUINN and wife ELIZABETH were featured in Tuesday night’s episode of “Million Dollar Decorators” on Bravo. The episode was filmed several months ago (N.Y. POST, 11/29).